digital practices

Support sessions

wordpress with pen JAN 15th 2021 WEEK 9
  1. recaps & trouble-shooting support
  2. drop-in sessions for feedback and help
  3. 1-2-1 tutorials
download notes as PDF


date JAN 15th 2021
time 9:30-11:30 + 12:00-14:00 BST

please note:
The support session is now past (links inactive) and has not been recorded.

criteria summary

The brief

  • to create a site which aims to help
  • to produce and edit appropriate content for online consumption
  • to deliver a website designed for a select target group
  • to ensure that the site performs well
    [accessibility / loading speed / responsive design]
  • to submit a project document, including site plan and rationale

Remember to remove any unnecessary default content from your website and keep the language set to English.

The criteria

  • evident site purpose for common good
  • well structured content, easy to accesss
  • all text is well written and free of errors
  • content designed for target audience, phrasing reflects suitable tone
  • media content is accessible (e.g. alternative text for images)
  • any quoted/sourced content is clearly referenced/linked
  • pages load fast and with full content
  • layout, including all media, adapts to different viewport widths

re: content text

  • all content is unique and original
    (i.e. not a translated/transcribed version of someone else's publication)
  • all content written and edited by you
    (small parts of the content can be quoted from external sources but your own original content must outweigh their proportion in each post/page substantially)

TIP: a good post starts with a short introductory paragraph, followed by the main copy and media.

re: sourced content

  • confirm the permission of use, either via open license or under certain conditions
  • always cite the appropriate references for all quoted sources
  • provide references and links as required by the license of the material used

optimise your media

re: images

  • visual content in context with topic
    (i.e. not a translated/transcribed version of someone else's publication)
  • optimised for web specifically
    (small parts of the content can be quoted from external sources but your own original content must outweigh their proportion in each post/page substantially)

TIP: photos are best saved as JPG (not PNG) for smaller file size = faster loading.

quotation mark
quotation mark


deliverable 1 siteplan

This is your final content plan outlining the structure of your content. This has to be included in your project document.

  • possible options: flowchart / list / spreadsheet
  • shows your structure via pages and categories, typically via menu links
  • includes all featured content

deliverable 2: COMPLETED WEBSITE

deliverable 1 website

This is the core part of your project, submitted by including the link to your website in the project document.

NOTE: This is the '2,500 word portfolio' as referred to elsewhere. Importantly, remember to include your website link in your submission.

deliverable 3: PROJECT DOCUMENT

deliverable 1 project docuemntation

This is the actual file to submit (inc site plan + link):
a write up of the rationale behind your approach to the brief, your target group, your site's mission and your design thinking, ie theme selection inline with your goal.

  1. link to your website
  2. final site plan
  3. project documentation/report

on content

Remember who your site is for and what its mission is — aim to write for your chosen target group and review your phrasing accordingly. This is likely quite a different challenge for you as your site should not read like an academic paper at all.

Make sure to review your phrasing overall. Phrasing of the main text of your site is vital to your mission and should speak to your target group. Post titles as well as menu links are another important aspect to consider. While your post titles might be longer than 2-3 words, it will be important to keep the menu links very short and succinct for easy skim reading and access.

on themes

Please do remember our advice during our sessions and choose your theme wisely. If you need a refresher on this, read Claire's posts on What To Avoid and Fancy Themes & Design Plugins.

Design for inclusion.
Design for delight.

This applies both to your content and your design. Keep in mind that content is king and easy access to your posts is paramount. This will lead you to have only 1-3 pages in total, and most of your content published as posts, neatly organised into fitting categories.

on legalities

Make sure to have the cookie consent in place, linked to the updated privacy policy page. This is a legal requirement for any website (though not strictly speaking yours due to the VPN) and is good professional practice in any case.

:-) DO...

  1. inject personality into your site.
    This website is unique to you, and your approach to the subject is your decision ~ do let that shine through in all aspects, from text and visuals to design.
  2. focus on your site's mission.
    This will be reflected in a strong and clear site title and tagline, as well as short and succinct menu link text, and, of course, a fitting tone of language for all content.
  3. use an informal and personable tone if fitting.
    Your site is meant to have a mission for a positive change for people and society. Depending on your objective and target group, this might be best expressed by using the first person narrative and speaking to site visitors directly. Don't be shy to write as yourself and share your own experiences. Just make sure to put everything into the context of your site's mission.

DO NOT... !

  1. Do not add all your posts as submenu items.
    Avoid submenus and keep your menu links to a few, well phrased, short and succinct.
  2. Do not use a theme which relies on plugins.
    if you install a theme and get messages asking you to install additional plugins, this is a red flag! Please do not use such a theme.
  3. Do not keep the login link visible.
    Check on the existing addition of your setup for sidebar and footer (admin panel > appearance > widgets). Make sure to remove any superfluous elements, such as the calendar or archive listing. Or indeed the login link which should not be accessible by the general public.
  4. Do not forget to include references and credits.
    For your final site, any externally sourced content (such as images) has to reference its source and credit the original creator, usually via link. This could be done via footnotes, or published as separate page.
  5. Do not touch the WordPress or site URL settings!!
    this will make your site inaccessible and will require additional help to fix!
submission remidner